Altra King MT
If you’re looking for a shoe that can handle inclement weather and harsh terrain, the Altra King MT is a terrific choice. These trail running shoes were designed to ensure a smooth trip up and down the mountain, with excellent support, a highly breathable upper, a sturdy and defensive lower, and additional protection for the toes. A lack of comfortable cushioning may turn off some runners, but these shoes were designed primarily to withstand rugged terrain.
- Impeccable traction
- Protection from rough terrain
- High Durability
- Tight fit
- Less comfortable
- Bad for long distance running
The visual evokes images of some sort of wild animal, like a bear or wolf. The entire outsole, including the nubs, are made of Vibram Megagrip rubber, which works to provide traction and durability in the face of many different environments: slippery rocks, mud, and even running water.
One of the materials used in the construction is Altra’s own proprietary material called Altra Ego. This midsole cushioning material is designed to offer support and cushion while maintaining a lightweight durability. In practice, however, this material does offer the springiness and durability desired from an off-roading shoe, but the cushion is a bit lacking.
This is no easy task, especially when working with as much material and as many design necessities that go into a good pair of trail shoes. Fortunately, they accomplished these three tasks with flying colors. Ripstop polyester fabric is used for the majority of the shoes’ upper, which manages to be durable while still being breathable.
A harder toe pad on the front sacrifices a small amount of breathability for extra protection and a velcro strap on top ensures these shoes remain tightly wrapped around your feet.
However, the specially designed ripstop fabric used for the majority of the King MT’s upper construction allows for air to flow throughout the shoe while still protecting your foot from harsh terrain.
The two caveats mentioned before that do take away from the overall breathability are the rubber toe plate, which is necessary for protecting your toes from rocks and roots, and a velcro strap, which secures the shoe to your foot at the cost of your dignity.
However, if you use these shoes on softer surfaces, such as grass, track, sand, or soft dirt, they won’t be as comfortable. One more thing to keep in mind is that they simply weren't designed for the purpose of comfort.
What does look a bit tacky however is the Velcro strap that runs across the top of the shoe. Although it serves the important purpose of securing the tops of your feet to the shoe, some customers dislike the look as it reminds them of shoes that elementary schoolers would wear. If you can put up with the presence of a strap, however, there isn't anything to complain about in terms of style.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that these shoes aren’t great for handling extremely long distances. Customers have noticed that after a 20mile run, these shoes start to lose some of their cushion and springiness.
Your toes are protected with a special pad made of the same rubber, extending upward from the sole of the shoe. Finally, even the well-ventilated upper portion is made of reinforced fabric that is highly resistant to tearing. These shoes will protect you in rain or snow or sleet or hail, guaranteed.
On the other hand, when running off the beaten track, these shoes really come into their own, offering you an excellent level of control and responsiveness in even the worst conditions.
Something else worth considering is that the trail shoes that cost as much as the Altra King MT don't offer the same degree of protection or expertise in their design. Considering that these shoes can last you upwards of five years if treated properly, the higher cost is definitely worth it.
This can be a benefit when using the Altra King MT in hazardous environments, but the downside of this is that is can become uncomfortable after long distances. In fact, it is because of this extraordinary stiffness that many runners who own these shoes don't recommend using them for long distance runs.
This is accomplished with the clever use of rubber nubs on the sole of the foot as well as the single velcro strap situated at the top. Although some of these design choices may make these shoes look a bit tacky, they are all present for the sake of stability. The function was much more important than form when designing these shoes, and thankfully this decision led to a very functional pair.
If you suffer from painful foot-related injuries such as plantar fasciitis, these shoes may not be right for you. It is possible to reach a compromise with the addition of a special orthotic insole, but it may still be a bit too much to bear for certain runners.
- Solid rubber outsole with extra-grippy nubs
- Breathable upper with ripstop fabric and a velcro strap
- High stability and traction
- Impenetrable defenses
- Designed for trail running, mountain running, inclement weather running
- Heavy on the foot
- Inflexible due to foot plate and thick cushion